SPOKANE – Both Tonasket and Oroville raced on Saturday, Sept. 22, at the huge multi-class Erik Anderson / Runner’s Soul Invitational, featuring some of the strongest teams and individuals on the east side of the state and Idaho.
Oroville’s Sierra Speiker took top honors among local runners, placing second overall to Gracie Ledwith of Lewis and Clark with time of 18:44.75 on the full 5K course. It was the 11th-fastest time run so far this year in all Washington classifications, the fastest by over a minute in 1B/2B and a top-five time in every classification but 4A.
Also running for the Oroville girls were Lisa Hartvig (119th, 24:44.63); Callie Barker (137th, 26:22.48 in her first race of the year); and Celene Cisneros (150th, 32:21.11).
Diego Santana (150th, 21:18.24) and Ronel Kee (171st, 24:25.74) ran for the Oroville boys.
Tonasket was led by Oscar Avilez in the boys race (58th, 18:00.74), beating his previous 5K best by 18 seconds.
Adam Halvorsen (122nd, 19:43.03) was followed by Smith Condon (149th, 21:14.87), Lawrence Wambugu (152nd, 21:31.28), Abe Podkranic (169th, 23:35.65), Jordan Hughes (175th, 26:25.40) and Dallin Good (178th, 30:10.32) for the Tigers.
“Oscar and Adam both ran very good races,” said Tonasket coach Bob Thornton. “Oscar competed very well against the teams from the NEA League that we will see at the regional meet. It was Adam’s best race of the year and the strongest I have seen him finish a race.”
Avilez’s time is currently the 12th best among regional competitors and within range of a state finals bid if he can hold that position.
For the girls, Jessica Puente led the way with a 108th place finish in 24:14.19. She was followed by Kallie Mirick (121st, 24:46.31), Giesa Seidler (132nd, 25:33.82), Claire Thornton (144th, 27:30.36), Vanessa Pershing (145th, 28:23.63) and Corrina Karrer (151st, 33:24.57).
Mirick was running her first race.
“She ran very well,” Thornton said. “She moved up throughout the race and finished strong. As she gets more experience racing she’s going to do well.”
Both teams travel to Kettle Falls on Sept. 29 for the Can-Am Invitational.
Alums run too
The high schools weren’t the only ones racing Saturday in Spokane’s Plantes Ferry Park.
Zack Speiker of Everett Community College (Oroville), Damon Halvorsen of Spokane Falls CC (Tonasket), Michael Goble of Spokane Falls CC (Omak) and Jon Bennett of Spokane CC (Republic) had all seen plenty of each other throughout high school, and all finished within hailing distance of one another in the 163- man 8k collegiate race.
Speiker finished 82nd with a time of 27:37.69, followed by Halvorsen (85th, 27:44.44), Bennett (87th, 27:45.16) and Goble (93rd, 28:00.38).
For the women, Catie Arrigoni of Everett (Oroville) was 23rd in 18:59.65 (5K) out of 154 runners.